The "frum" yetzer hara seems very pious in his negative evaluations of any mitzvah we do.
Nothing is ever good enough.
And while it's true that maybe we didn't daven with so much kavanah, this oh-so pious yetzer hara sucks any joy we feel out of the mitzvah.
Furthermore, he makes us feel like Torah & mitzvot are too hard, that we'll never perform any mitzvah "well enough," and then he convinces us...why bother? It's not worth even trying.
And that's the killer clause of the pious yetzer hara.
When 5+5 equals 1 in 10,000
They for sure know better than even your frummest yetzer hara.
In a recently transcribed lecture Rav Avigdor Miller on 10 Minutes to Make You Great, Rav Miller tells us to spend 10 minutes in preparation for the New Year, for Rosh Hashanah.
And what do we do in those 10 minutes?
- Spend 5 minutes thinking about all the good Hashem did for you over this past year.
- Spend 5 minutes creating resolutions for the coming year.
If you do this, then Rav Miller considers you "great;" you're head and shoulders above the rest.
Those ten minutes will be a great accomplishment.
If after sitting here...you’ll go out and think for five minutes, you should know that you’re an exception. You’re a dagul mei’rivavah – you’re one out of ten thousand.
There’s nobody like you.
Who thinks for five whole minutes about gratitude for Hashem for the past year?!
And who thinks for five minutes about making resolutions for improving himself in the coming year?! People talk about it. But that’s all.
That’s why I said in the beginning of our talk, that if you do this on a small scale, then you shoot up and your head is way above everybody else.
TAPE #138 (September 1976)
Especially when it comes to avodat Hashem, Rav Miller is straight as they come.
And while I think the whole frum awakening toward gratitude and thanking Hashem has picked up since 1976, there are, tragically, enough assimilated Jews and enough by-rote Jews that you really stand out with those 10 minutes.
And the more of us who take these 10 minutes to thank Hashem for all the good of the past year while making specific resolutions for the coming year, the more we can sweeten din and reap blessing for ourselves and others.